Roadless rule shot down, again
The Clinton-era “roadless rule” has been declared invalid by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer. The rule, which prohibits development on 58.5 million acres of national forest, has had a long and rocky past. Brimmer first put the kibosh on it in 2003, and while an appeal was pending, the Bush administration switched it out for an alternative that required states to petition the feds for forest protection. The Bush rule was thrown out by a different district judge in 2006 and the Clinton rule reinstated — until now. Ruling in favor of the state of Wyoming, Brimmer declared that the roadless rule violated two environmental laws and stymied forest managers from doing their jobs. “The Forest Service, in an attempt to bolster an outgoing president’s environmental legacy, rammed through an environmental agenda that itself violates the country’s well-established environmental laws,” Brimmer wrote. (Wonder what he thinks of the Bush admin’s attempt to gut the Endangered Species Act?) The roadless saga will continue: green group Earthjustice has promised to appeal.